Those rocks looked so inviting. They looked easy enough to climb. Lot’s of places to find handholds and footholds. And with a climbing leader like Craig, I thought, “Piece of cake.”
But looks can sometimes be deceiving. When you get up close to these rocks, they get bigger and bigger, and more intimidating. When you place your hands on them, they seem to change right before your eyes. What looked easy turned out to be one of the most difficult and scary things I’ve ever attempted.
Craig made it look easy, too. He scampered up those rocks like nothing. At first, I thought, “Hey, he’s only got one leg, this should be easy.”
Romans 9:31-33, Paul says that those “who pursued a law of righteousness, [have] not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
This “rock” theme permeates both Peter and Paul. It is a good way for us to look at Christ and our relationship with Him.
As a Rock, Christ doesn’t move easily. We can’t really shape him into what we want Him to be. When we try to shape rocks into what we want them to be, we must forever alter what they are and what they can do. With Christ, if we try to make him into what we want we end up with a Christ that really isn’t The Christ of Scripture.
Last weekend, I was challenged by the rocks and I was ultimately conquered by the rocks. I couldn’t get further than about six feet off the ground for at least two reasons: 1) I lacked the physical strength to carry this body up the side of the rock. 2) I didn’t have very good foot-gear. That motivated me to work on #1 – with more jogging and swimming and better eating habits. #2 will take planning and saving – also good exercise for life.
Peter and Paul epitomize most of us. They thought they had all the answers. Peter looked to a full and happy life out on the lake with his fishing business. Paul was content with his life of study and contemplation. Both suffered from pride and arrogance that their ways were best and immovable.